"It's been decades in the making, it's so much greater than us" 1 week ago

"It's been decades in the making, it's so much greater than us"

It couldn't possibly have been any more dramatic.

Excitement. Anticipation. Nerves. Fear and worry.

Pick any emotion in the world and the Irish women's hockey team went through it on an extraordinary night in Donnybrook where their dream flashed before their eyes, before eventually becoming a reality.

It never happens easy.

With the stakes at a monumental high Ireland Vs Canada was as cagey as you would expect and the teams were deadlocked by the end of it.

On they went to a penalty shootout where the Irish women looked a beaten docket. They were down 3-1 in the early stages of that shootout and Canada had all the momentum.

But that's when Ayeisha McFerran - the goalkeeper and the hero of the World Championship campaign last year - stepped up to the plate once more with two equally crucial and stunning saves.

Beth Barr and Chloe Watkins held their nerve to send it to sudden death, before Roisin Upton netted from the tightest of angles.

The Canadians missed their next penalty, but called for a video referral. With hearts in mouths all over Donnybrook, the video referee said there was no need for a referral and Ireland had qualified.

"It's everything. This is the dream, we've come close in the past. This is everything to us. Since we started out, it was always about the Olympics," said Irish star Nicola Daly on RTÉ after.

"Never would I have thought we'd be playing hockey in the middle of Donnybrook, the whole thing has just come together amazing," she added.

Limerick woman Roisin Upton was just as excited.

"We were trying to imagine what this feeling might be like during the week, but it completely surpasses it 20 times over. It's been decades in the making, everything that we're trying to achieve is so much greater than us. My idols, legends that I grew up dreaming about, they've all been here. I feel so privileged to be a part of this team and to be looking forward to Tokyo..."

Bring on Tokyo.